Following the roaring success of the Kilkenny champions, the week of celebrations proved especially uplifting for the students of Coláiste Pobail Osraí.
Amidst the hype of the All-Ireland win, the atmosphere within the school was electric. It became a week of further celebrations for the students, very much continuing on the theme of honouring their sporting heroes, with a visit to Dublin to support their teacher, Múinteoir Àine Connery, a member of the Irish hockey team.
On Tuesday, October 2, first and second year students from the school followed Múinteoir Connery to Dublin where the Irish hockey team took on the USA in the semi-final of the Electric Ireland FIH Champions Challenge. Acting as team mascots, the youths were invited onto the pitch where they sang the national anthem together with the Irish hockey team, a significantly memorable occasion for all involved.
The hype continued on their return to school that week, as they were welcomed by Colm ‘Gooch’ Cooper, described widely as one of the greatest players of his generation. The Kerry corner forward led the students in an informative discussion about the innovative new AIB ‘build a bank challenge’, followed by an inspirational talk about his years as a Gaelic star.
The talented Kerryman was met with an extremely positive response from the students as they quizzed him on his career and his young life as a sportsperson.
The pupils were then taken outside for a training session with the sports star who offered invaluable tips and advice on how to improve their skills.
The week of celebrating sporting heroes was then topped off by a visit from All-Ireland hurling champions, Eoin Larkin and Paul Murphy, together with the Liam MacCarthy cup. Given the overwhelming response to their successes, it is clear that the influence of Irish sportspeople will live on through the young people of Coláiste Pobail Osraí, and of Kilkenny as a whole.